Brian MacDonald's pursuit of an approved hepcidin therapy at Merganser Biotech Inc. didn't quite pan out, but that didn't stop him from taking up Atlas Venture's offer to try it once again on a different tack.
Roughly 40 years after Bio-Response launched the first-ever biotech IPO, three companies priced IPOs on Friday, riding a wave of momentum that has put 2019 into second place for the most IPO money raised in a single year. Only 2018's record $10.7 billion is beyond this year's total: 54 global IPOs raising $7.98 billion.
Gilead Sciences Inc.'s third-quarter earnings, though deemed satisfactory, brought lukewarm responses from Wall Street, with analysts such as J.P. Morgan's Cory Kasimov writing in a report that "these days the company's quarterly progress seems to take a back seat to how they [will] ultimately deploy their substantial amount of capital. The Galapagos deal notwithstanding, this feels like a long wait that's quite frankly getting a bit stale." Still reverberating is the arrangement this summer with Galapagos NV, of Mechelen, Belgium, which signed a 10-year research and development pact with Gilead under which Galapagos is getting $3.95 billion up front in hard cash plus another $1.1 billion in equity, in return for which Gilead will essentially have an option to ex-European rights on everything emanating from the firm's clinical and preclinical pipeline.
Privately held Pepticom Ltd., of Jerusalem, completed a $5 million series A fundraising, allowing it to use artificial intelligence (AI) in helping research centers, pharma and agriculture companies discover advanced peptide-based drug candidates.